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Going Beyond The Baseline For A Positive Candidate Experience

Candidate experience

Candidate experience is a top priority for recruiters and hiring teams. Employers work hard to meet candidate expectations, build great relationships and protect their brand reputation.

Candidate experience is defined as the personal perception a candidate holds concerning an employer’s recruitment process and is commonly categorised into a negative or positive experience.

To secure a positive candidate experience, many companies aim to:

Create a simple hiring process

The first interaction with an employer usually starts with the job advert. The route to application must be straightforward to navigate. Additional or unnecessary steps, overcomplicate the process and run the risk of candidate dropout and a loss in top talent.

Keep candidates informed

Communication is key to building great relationships with candidates. If a candidate feels valued and informed throughout their hiring journey, they are 80% more likely to reapply again in the future.

Follow up

Many employers find great value in following up with candidates post-application and interview. This enables companies to gain a deeper understanding of what worked, what didn’t and fix any issues a candidate may have encountered.

And never ignore

A high intake of job applications creates time constraints that put a strain on recruiting resources, making it challenging to reply to every job application response. But ignoring a candidate risks damaging employer brand perception. Many dissatisfied applicants will write negative reviews on employer review sites or voice their thoughts on social media.

Recruiters working together to create a positive candidate experience

What more can be done to improve the candidate experience?

As the above steps are standard practice for many employers, what can companies do to go above and beyond the basic practice for candidate experience?

Hiring has vastly evolved in recent years. Employer transparency has become increasingly pivotal with the rise of online review platforms and social media. To take additional measures and ensure a great candidate experience we suggest the following:


Create candidate re-engagement opportunities with past applicants. Many candidates are told they’ll be kept on file for future roles but unfortunately never hear anything back. Bring truth to this statement and automatically reengage with historic applicants and reconsider them for future roles.

Tap into potential from silver medalist candidates. A silver medalist candidate exists inside a pool of past applicant talent. Present new job opportunities to historic candidates and drive value from those who have previously bought into the brand.


Often employers receive a high volume of applications that are not qualified for the role. Making it difficult to manage and consider every applicant fairly.

In these circumstances, employers can reroute unsuccessful applicants to better matching job roles within the company. Instead of rejecting candidates, help rebuild candidate trust by referring applicants to positions that better suit their skillset and experience. Reduce the risk of candidates feeling ignored and maintain a strong positive employer brand perception.


The candidate experience does not end the day they accept a job offer. Considering that 25% of employee turnover occurs in the first 180 days of employment. To meet candidate expectations, employers must deliver on the promises they have made during previous recruitment stages.

Manage the onboarding plan to ensure new hires feel settled, well-adjusted and are equipped with the tools they need to succeed in their new role.


Measure candidate experience to improve future practices by looking at these key metrics, time to hire, application time, candidate reapply rates and candidate feedback. Focus on the areas that are time-consuming and take action to streamline these areas.

Employers can also leverage company review sites such as Glassdoor as well as Google reviews to learn about the experience’s candidates have faced. Online tools are also useful in building anonymous candidate surveys, to gain honest and valuable recruitment feedback.

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